Meet (be me) Manifesto

loungeact

Somedays you wake up and realise what a mess you are so here’s how to become that mess. God is dead as Hawkes Chesney once said. The following is simply my munki guide of things that I won’t do and behaviours I can’t tolerate. Let your own guide be equally as long and pointless. Like life, see?

“For success is dying in a way that doesn’t cause mucho bothers to others. Kapiche?”
Gene Simmons from Kiss

  1. Do not wear flip-flops for fuck sake
    It seems like such a practical item until you realise they were invented by Belphegor who was not only a prince of hell who encouraged men with promises of wealth; he also found time to push the boundaries of flip-flops by making them widely available in the world outside of swimming pools. It is impossible to walk quickly in flip-flops or get anything useful done.
  2. Do not wear a t-shirt with a pocket
    Hmm. How do I make a perfectly plain t-shirt more exciting to please my boss and I’m on deadline and I have a hangover and my girlfriend left me and I hate everyone and if it wasn’t that my mother was proud of me I would end it all. What’s the pocket for Bob? Em…Tea bags. Cool.
  3. Do not wear slip-ons
    In other countries this may be a done thing, but in Irlanda of the 80s, slip-ons were accompanied by white socks and usually a black flag and occasional balaclava to y’know, accessorise.
  4. Do not wear slip-ons with designs
    Terrorist!
  5. Do not wear the band’s t-shirt when going to their gig unless it is a metal band, then it is acceptable enough.

    s-l300

    This Chris de Burgh fan was raptured as he entered Chris de Burgh

  6. Shoes with no socks is like fucking a dead person.
    Again, it works in other countries where people are basically attractive, but in Irlanda it is a red flag for sweaty feet, verucas, fungal infections or that drunk who lost his socks but will be commended for managing to get his shoes on. Also known to take off trousers over shoes. Y’know that guy. He’s a survivor.

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    How’ye lads? Yahweh, is it? Satzenbrau please.

  7. Men+ white trousers=Hades this way lies. Q.E.D
    Unless you’re Johnny Logan, you’re not going to pull it off. That’s what Johnny Logan says…
  8. Shades in Irlanda
    It’s presumably obvious that if you drive and Audi or BMW you will wear shades even at night because the last thing you want to do is not conform to a stereotype. Some people can get away with it, but until recently in Irlanda it hasn’t been THAT bright. I mean not since 1976: the last time an outbreak of happiness and bad water management hit the country. Also the Irlandese will look like pall-bearers at an IRA funeral.
  9. Do not wear a shirt or t-shirt with a designer logo, unless that logo is the picture of the poor child that has caught its head in a weaving machine, then you’re just being a dick deliberately, so minor kudos.
    Or if you’re Chevy Chase.
  10. An alligator on a shirt is a kick in the genitals to a poor orphan child. It really, really is.
  11. A man bun should not be worn over the age of 20
    There are better ways to start your midlife crises than an unimpressive ponytail. (Write me for better ways. Done ’em all)
  12. Grow a beard. No it’s cool. You’ll be the only fucking one, honest.
    If Karl Marx only knew the trend he started he would be spinning in his pauper’s grave (Irish education right there).
  13. One selfie at most per year and try for fuck sake to at least be ironic about it.
    It’s easy to take a selfie at face value, until you become objective about it and realise what process weirdness is going on in the scenario. This will lead you to believe the person is going through some kind of crisis but…Oh, look 96 likes.
  14. Just coz Nick Cave does it doesn’t mean everyone should walk around a crowd like they’re fucking Jesus or Nick Cave.
  15. Try centrist politics America or just give up.
    The coincidence that your entire political system sits nicely within the parameters of Twitter is unfortunate. The inability to distinguish yourself as a human being with the ability to have a whole range of ideas and communicate them to other people is frankly un-fucking-evolved. Greatest country in your hoop more like.
  16. Boycott ‘Nuala Carey” She ruined TellyBingo for me.
    I will not repeat her name but she is essentially William H. Macy in “The Cooler.” I used to win loads of money on TellyBingo and then she presented and now I owe fucking TellyBingo money. How does this happen? Fuck you Arcade Fire. Come back Shirley.
  17. Saying ‘End of’ at the end of a rant pretty much explains what a fuck-gannet you were with all the preceding words.
    Why do people think with such certainty that they know everything? They don’t. It’s impossible. Also include “I’ll think you’ll find that” and “I’m sorry but..” Usually will have an alligator on chest for leisure wear. Something for the weekend, sir?
  18. Don’t lionise politicians just because they do one good fucking thing.
    Leo Varadkar and Simon Harris got a lot of kudos for the result in the recent referendum for the amazing hard work done by loads of women throughout history, whose innards politicians were playing Russian roulette with. Still, that Leo blooper reel. Laugh? I did not.
  19. Don’t use ‘my missus’ or ‘my bird’ or ‘her indoors.’ Not only does it suggest you have time-travelled from the 1970s series “On the Buses” but is also suggests you are in some kind of control. You are not.
    “Ah, but Jaysus, the lads down the pub say it and dey are the greatest like and dey talk about de burds and de tits and, and, and bleedin Halawa and peeeeeedoes and Billy said the blacks are taking over he did and, and, and, and, and food stamps and the gays. Ah, Jaysus.”
  20. Don’t drink and drive. You’re only fooling the dead child under your front wheel.
    Again, you are not in control of anything while sober. What makes you think that this changes with alcohol? Maybe sit home and read some philosophy or build a birdhouse. Write a novel or crochet a blanket. Just don’t drive a Ford Mondeo over the faces of some poor suspecting humans because you wanted that one more pint of not very good lager.
  21. If you absolutely have to use the demeaning-to-women word ‘cunt,’ direct it at office stationary only.
    Keyboards and mouses especially.
  22. Look up at the sky sometimes. It helps.
    Especially if you’re feeling grim or are trapped in a hole ready to be killed by a 1990s horror character with a name that will never be as good as “The Hitcher” so why did they even bother?
  23. Saying ‘I’m not racist but’ leads to everyone thinking that you would never say that to another race.
    You ARE racist. You are racist against races that haven’t been discovered by you yet.
  24. ‘I’m too long in the tooth’ actually means you are just a lazy prick and the company should stop paying you.
    You will not learn anything new and may as well just die on the spot. Stop ruining my day with your, your vibes.
  25. Michael McIntyre’s jokes are probably not Michael McIntyre’s jokes.
  26. Having an alter-ego over 30 is pathetic. Committing to it means you are probably mentally ill. Call Bressie immediately.

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    Porrberacee

  27. Instagramming pictures of your breakfast is fine. Do not do it if your breakfast is tragic.
    It may also make you mentally ill. It’s food. It’s your food. You are not aesthetic at all. Food makes you shit. Sometimes quicker than at other times. Add coffee. Doesn’t matter how pretty it is, you’re going to shit. That’s what I think when I see breakfast on Instagram. That person will soon take a shit.
  28. Echoing David Cross’s sentiment, does anyone have a solid shit after 30?
    Do they?
  29. Office politics are pointless.
    Whenever it happens. Take a step back, then take a deep breath and then take another step back straight into the elevator, then out the front door and never go back. Never ever go back.
  30. Don’t try to be like your parents. They watched Glenroe; you watched the Wire. They saw Kennedy; you saw Trump. Alternate realities.
    You have nothing in common. Just leave it.
  31. It is easy to avoid reality television by not watching it or reading about it or knowing anyone who knows anything about it
  32. Crisps become very important over the age of 30. Go with it. It can replace religion in your life.
    Shove that shit in your face while quaffing wine. Do it. Go for a run the next morning, whatever. The pleasure of shoving crisps in between your fillings may be the meaning of life. The taste, the artificial pleasure, the…the… Oh my. (With that I am raptured)
  33. Fighting people on Twitter is the equivalent of getting into an argument with a family member. There will never be a winner. This is America…boom boom
    Dogs sniffing each other’s asses have more dignity than twitter warriors.
  34. Stop going to festivals. You’re only encouraging them.
    Go to a gig in a pub or at your local venue. Go somewhere with just music and a bar. No gourmet burgers or fucking wraps. Just a shitty band at a shitty venue. It’s good for the soul.
  35. Do not do the fucking sheet trick with dogs. Leave them alone. Why confuse an already confused slave animal.
    It’s not for their benefit. You could theoretically do the same thing to the elderly in a home. Also these animals adore you unequivocally and look to you for guidance. What happens when you fall down a well? Your retriever will be thinking, “Ha, fuck you. You’re not going to get me with that one again. Wanker. Oh look, a butt.”
  36. Waistcoats: I mean c’mon?
    Maybe, just maybe it’s acceptable in a period drama. Or if you’re Michael Flatley, because I doubt if he has any other clothes.
  37. Bow ties: STOP, like. Unless you’re this guy.  The brother wears what the brother wants.
    cq5dam.web.1200.675
    Very few adults can get away with wearing a dickie bow and not looking like they are making their first Communion. Very few.
  38. Do not buy an expensive car for social status, buy a small car with a fuck-off engine and see if them pricks will catch you. (Except a Golf. Don’t be that person)
    Or get a dickie bow.
  39. Cleanliness is close to Godliness. Do not lie with pigs, I think.
  40. Do not read reviews if you have your own personal taste on things. Why disagree with someone whose taste you don’t give a shit about in the first place?
  41. Something was good. It’s not good anymore, but it was good. Still better than your sorry excuse for a life.
    No one will remember you.
  42. Having one really good friend is better than having a thousand, unless your one really good friend is the reason you haven’t got a thousand friends. Fuck you, George.
    I want as few people as possible at my funeral because the awkwardness of being at funerals of people you don’t really know should be taken into account when you’re sticking a body in the ground. This applies to weddings too when you’re sticking a body in the ground.
  43. I am not impressed by your sexual prowess as I am not impressed with your saxophone skills. I don’t care who you fucked or that you can play “Blue Train.” Fair fucks but you are making me feel inadequate, thanks.
  44. As an atheist, do not tell your child that he has no soul. Tell other people’s children instead.
    Then they’ll tell their friends who will tell your kid and it’ll all be sorted.

    It’s the circle of life
    And it moves us all
    Through despair and hope
    Through faith and love
    God is dead

  45. NAZI PUNKS FUCK OFF
  46. Smoke ’em if you got ’em.
    Then quit and wish you had some. (Every fucking day)
  47. Keep on keeping on or until the logical magical conclusion.
  48. Power is always ruined by one clever cynical prick in the corner of the office. Absolute power is ruined by a bunch of cynical pricks in the corner of the office.
  49. Got tattoos? Well, so do grannies on your local beach. Not so underground now are ya, punk?
  50. Borderline psychosis leads to mlogging. Be careful…everyone else.
    Go back 49 paces to item 1 and repeat Ad infinitum.

Comedy Muzzah – It’s going to be fucking Mexico

marenghi

Beware Scotch Mist! Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace

‘If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they’ll kill you.’

Oscar Wilde.

When I turned on BBC2 one Tuesday night in 1994 under the influence of, well, not steroids, a new programme came on and a smarmy looking newsreader with slick hair read out the headline, “What now for man raised by puffins?” I nearly fell off the floor I was lying on. Chris Morris and Armando Iannucci’s The Day Today made all news unwatchable from that day on. Although it only ran for 6 episodes, RTE News continued the format for the following 19 years. It was also the introduction of the all-consuming Alan Partridge.

The influence of Morris and Iannucci can be seen all over comedy since. Although Iannucci’s turns on TV weren’t amazing, he has been the driving force behind The Thick of It and now has hit America with Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Veep. Both men have made it impossible to take the media and politics seriously. The surreal nature of their output pales in comparison to reality which is much weirder. (Boris Johnson!)  Many of the same actors appeared on everything from Brasseye, Blue Jam, and Knowing Me, Knowing You up to The Thick Of It.

The writing was so good and clever that it makes the current output on the BBC seem pathetic. Sanitised family shows are all the rage, but we grew up watching comedy without boundaries.  I met my wife due to my ability to repeat lines from the Fast Show, that and I spilled a pint over her. Jesus, even Johnny Depp tried to get in on the action (not with my wife!) before he became a woman. But what happened to these types of comedy? What scared Channel 4 and the BBC? Why did they create BBC3 where the dumb Russells (Howard and Kane) hold court to adoring adolescents who need to hear the word ‘cock’ as a punchline for unimaginative jokes? It’s a station designed for young people in the same way DDT was designed to sort out your crops.  Kids watching Russell Howard might think being funny has to be qualified by the squeezing out of a tear. Fuck him, he’s a cynical comedian, playing on the audience’s inability to distinguish him from a wealthy cross-eyed teddy bear.

Nathan Barley - Unfortunatley everything that occurred in this show has become reality. rise of the idiots!

Nathan Barley – Unfortunatley everything that occurred in this show has become reality. rise of the idiots!

Since genre building shows like Father Ted, Garth Marenghi’s Dark Place, Black Books and even the demented Nathan Barley, Channel 4 have fitfully produced proper sitcoms. The best they managed was yet another Graham Linehan vehicle, the IT Crowd. It is something that they are so good at, yet the space is filled by increasingly stupid true-life documentaries, if the woman with the man’s engorged appendix stuck to her ovaries is true-life.

                        ****

There is a sketch on the US show Portlandia where two of the characters try, with the help of former anchors, to take back MTV. This is what I want to do. I want to bring back Eddie Izzard before he started running all those fucking charity marathons. Comic Relief always annoyed me. I’m not such a bastard that I don’t want children to get the money they deserve, but as a kid, watching my favourite comedians dumb down for a night seemed almost treacherous. Chris Morris wandering around with Pudsey the fucking bear? Too obscene to think about.  Now, all these comedians are running races for charity, swimming the seas for charity. David Walliams swimming the English channel is deadly serious. Drowning in it however, would have a certain vibe of black comedy to it. What they are not doing is writing one line of edgy  comedy.

The Live at the Apollo genre, for example, is worrying, because it has gone full circle back to just before the alternative comedy revolution in Britain of the early 80s. Then, established comedy was extremely trivial and sanitised or just racist, usually toward Irish or Asians. To counter, rebellious British comedians spawned a new fresh scene. This has been watered down to the extent that now Live at the Apollo resembles a meeting-house for uninspired comedians who know how to play the game. Many have the same agents and many are English. Stand up is a stepping stone to money-making prime time slots.

The plague of the panel show means that on a certain day, you can flick through stations and it’s possible to see David Mitchell on at least 14 different panel shows. Frankie Boyle, another panel-show regular, can be surprisingly enjoyable doing stand-up, but there’s always a feeling that he needs to throw in a joke about a handicapped, deaf, single mother midget just to appease his own legend.  Of the current crop, I do like Mickey Flanagan, but almost immediately he has been subsumed into that industry of mediocrity. I saw him once on a boat with Richard Herring and thought he’s really good, but he’s no Richard Herring. Richard Herring is not on my television. I say it again, Richard Herring is not on my television.

                    ****

There was a recent Michael McIntyre routine he did a hokey Irish accent talking about what Paddies were like. A willing Dublin audience soaked their pants at his brand of comic japery. Apart from one line the rest of it was rubbish, but that’s not the problem. What if it was Jim Davidson or Bernard Manning up there? What paradigm exists that causes an Irish audience to laugh at an English comedian when throughout our history we have taken vicious offence at the mispronunciation of Paul McGrath’s name?

Actually, I’ll pull back from this xenophobia to say that many of my favourite comedians are, bless myself and pray to Holy Virgin Mary of the 1980s, English. If it wasn’t for Have I Got News For You?, the Fast Show, the Two Ronnies, Alexei Sayle, Lenny Henry and Eddie Izzard, Whose Line Is It Anyway?, even Chelmsford 123, I would have had no sense of humour at all. But to see the brilliant Ross Noble slumming it with Loose Women makes my normally confused mind reel in an ectopic manner.

People today forget that growing up in early 1980s Ireland, we WERE in the shadow of the hilarious Holy Virgin Mary who blotted out everything that was good and funny by manifesting not as a moving statue, but perpetual drizzle. She also appeared more times in this country than even the fucking National. With a few exceptions, quality comedy was rarely seen, despite efforts by Gay Byrne and Shay Healy.  Comedians like Billy Connolly and Lenny Henry appearing on the Late Late were a highlight counteracting the comedy hole that was Noel V. Ginnity.

Regrettably it was also the time of Jim Davidson, Bobbi Davro and Freddie Starr. These were the standard 1980s television comedians, whose safe routines often were at odds with their off-television stand-up. Davidson’s regular pieces about Chalky, a black Rastafarian, were down in the gutter racist diatribes masked as comedy.   Davidson was box office, and bizarre as it seems he was able to perform on the same channel that broadcast Lenny Henry’s show.  This was considered acceptable fare and an unenlightened audience found it funny, until it stopped being funny. Society was moving on from this type of comedy.

That’s when Alexei Sayle arrived like a shot of rum in the eye. His level of angry comedian crossed with my first real taste of surrealism opened my mind to something different. This was a man who would look at a post box and say, “I can’t believe that’s not butter.”  From then, the way led to the Young Ones, the Comic Strip and the surrealism of the Paul Merton show, coupled with his regular slot on Have I Got News For You? That political satire was so engaging in a time when the evil Tories ran everything in Britain and to see them lampooned by Merton, Ian Hislop and Angus Deayton felt like justice. They made them look like the stupid fuckers they are. Nowadays, the show is completely irrelevant despite the brilliant Hislop. If only Deayton hadn’t had a predilection for prostitutes, hotel rooms and cocaine. It reminds me of Dylan Moran’s question: “What else are you supposed to give hookers in a hotel room? Yogurt!?”

****

The difference between today’s content and that of the previous 30 years is that the cult of celebrity has taken over. The young guys from the Inbetweeners get pushed into doing an ill-advised movie rather than continue to develop their craft.  Comedians are no longer in the business to innovate comedic forms, they are in the business solely for the business. The production budget on the Young Ones wasn’t exactly financially draining, so why not push towards that paradigm. Superstar comedians are not cheap and many aren’t that funny.  The marketing of these comedians is more about pushing DVD units for overblown soulless shows which resemble that skit in The Day Today where Question Time is filmed at Wembley Stadium. It’s embarrassing to watch. Shows like the Young Ones prove that something small can become legendary. I doubt there will be too many people talking about Mock the Week down the pub in twenty years.

The Day Today: Fact times Paschal Sheehy = NEWS

The Day Today: Fact times Paschal Sheehy = NEWS

The commercial interests of the channels have pushed quality down a notch or two. The tube of comedy is thinning, and though the talent is there and a new generation gap is in place, the constant need to sell reality as a product is pushing people away from traditional broadcasters. The channel that took a chance on Monty Python (shown at prime time in the seventies) would shit if that surrealism appeared after The Voice or Strictly Come Dancing. It is strange that Spike Milligan was allowed a vehicle for his comedy and is lauded by the same people who would have panic attacks at the idea of his presence now.

The opportunities are dwindling. Ricky Gervais produced The Office, but now there are reality shows with David Brent characters knowingly hamming it up for the cameras. The ever-present ratings wars that ensure the survival of a station have also destroyed the possibility for diversity. Of course Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace, a mock hospital drama, is not going to generate the cash, but the identity of Channel 4 was once as important as its commercial viability. That has obviously changed since the days of The Tube and may be the death of them. Can the BBC sustain BBC3 despite it being on many levels more immature than Ceebeebees? These stations can broadcast brilliant dramas like This is England and The Killing but completely disregard comedy as an art form.

It’s time for a television comedy to got through some sort of revolution, something to inspire writers to stop courting the middle-class market and to destroy Russell Howard and his acolytes once and for all. Actually, it is probably simple. Look at what worked in the past and ignore trends, youth culture and market research because they lead to a comedy black hole. Simple ideas work better than high concept disasters every time. Otherwise they might just miss out on that crazy idea about three priests living on an island in the west of Ireland.

815665789442f4c8ef1adf142d7dda73This bunch of words I did wrote was published in the Winter issue of CULT magazine 2013.